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Michael Steele, the Health Care "Experiment" and Anxiety Politics



RNC Chair Michael Steele hammered President Obama's plan to reform the health care system. Photo by Brendan McDermid of Reuters

Experiment, reckless and risky.

Read Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele's speech on health care this morning and those three words come up in nearly every sentence.

Steele derided President Barack Obama's "dangerous experiment" on health care and his "reckless experiment" with the economy; "the Barack Obama experiment with America is a risk our country cannot afford," Steele said. (The RNC doubled down on that message by launching a television ad entitled "Grand Experiment" in Arkansas, Nevada and North Dakota.)

Close listeners to the political dialogue in America will recall striking similarities between the rhetoric adopted by Steele -- and Republicans more generally -- on health care, and the language Democrats used to fight (and ultimately beat back) President George W. Bush's efforts to reform social security in 2005.

At the time, Democrats derided the plan as a risky scheme to privatize the system, a move that would, they argued, jeopardize the entire Social Security program.

Chuck Schumer (N.Y.), who was the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee at the time, described the plan as a "risky privatization scheme"' while Tom Daschle (S.D.), a former Democratic leader in the Senate, called it a "risky, dangerous scheme".

The success of the Democratic approach to Social Security and the Republicans' decision to adopt a similar blueprint in attacking Obama's health care proposal points to a basic truism about politics: fear is a powerful emotion and motivator.

While Americans usually pay homage to the desire for change, they often retreat inside the comfortable confines of the status quo when pushed.

In a June Washington Post-ABC News poll, 85 percent of those surveyed said they were either very (59 percent) or somewhat (25 percent) concerned about the future cost of health care for their family.

That same poll showed nearly eight in ten Americans expressing concerning about a variety of potential impacts as a result of the reform of health care from "reducing the quality of health care you receive" (81 percent) to "sharply increase the national debt" (84 percent).

Republicans know full well that an anxiety toward the economy generally -- and health care specifically -- exists in the country.

Steele's speech is designed to play into those worries and fears and to push Americans to wonder whether everything is moving too far, too fast.

The slower the process goes, the better chance Republicans have to poke holes in the plan and make their case in opposition to it to the American people.

It worked for Democrats on Social Security. But, can Republicans follow the same blueprint on health care?

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 20, 2009; 2:27 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2012 , Republican Party , White House  
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Comments

What is all this fuss about the cost of healthcare? I pays $70 per month out of my paycheck for a nice healthcare plan and I can choose my doctor. Its a lot of money but it is less than I pay for coffee each month. Why is everyone complaining about the cost of healthcare? Its stopid.

I think American healthcare is the greatest in the whole world. I am a proud american and I always vote republican.

Posted by: warren631 | July 22, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

We are discussing the 40,000 medical device sales jobs which have already been lost in anticipation of Obamacare. Please join our discussion at: http://www.gorillamedicalsales.com/blog

Posted by: medsearch | July 22, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

We are discussing the 40,000 medical device sales jobs which have already been lost in anticipation of Obamacare. Please join our discussion at: http://www.gorillamedicalsales.com/blog

Posted by: medsearch | July 22, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

What does Mr. Steele suggest? Oh! I already know give them some more tax breaks, they don't have enought money to build more and bigger buildings. Plus don't forget they also need a bonus.

Posted by: SWAMPYPD | July 21, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Comparing overhauling social security to overhauling health care insurance is apples to oranges-- the American people *want* health care insurance overhauled; they did NOT want social security changed.

Posted by: benniecsmith | July 21, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

You "argue" without any facts to back you up, Jake, so your assertion is as worthless as all the rest of your beliefs, for example Sarah Palin getting sixty million votes. From where, Shangri-La?

Money invested in the stock market from Social Security would have disappeared into the same netherworld as people's 401(k)s.

Like all conservative economics, it was a stupid idea.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 21, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

mjtaylor22:

I would argue that the Dow would be twice what it is today if Social Security investment accounts had been allowed.

Posted by: JakeD | July 21, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

IMAGINE IF SOCIAL SECURITY HAD BEEN PRIVATIZED AND PLACED IN THE STOCK MARKET ADN THE dUMB CORRUPT rEPUGNANTS WANTED.
I have to question their intentions, imagine the financial destruction is the ssi recipients had placed their ssi money inthe market and now had to draw payment based on its current value, do you see how the repugnants only seek to increase the dis advantage gap, and ruin the middle class, they mut want the middle class eliminated so we can go bk to surf dom or indentured servitude why else would they lead the massive robbery of our tax dollars on multiple fronts. from the war, my goodness how much cash money disappeared on the front lines billions in wheel barrels. TARP, yes Bush started it and paulson was an insider stooge for goldman sachs, look at the insurer, some of these reps own health insurance frims or rather their families do...pay attention.

Posted by: mjtaylor22 | July 21, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin:

"If one assumes a societal obligation to provide health care at some level [I do; and the Founding Fathers did]..."

I'm not objecting, I'm just not aware of the facts that must support your claim that the "Founding Fathers" shared your view that the Federal government has some responsibility for providing health care services for the populace.

Could you cite some statements from them that would back up this claim? I have a hard time believing it, but am willing to be convinced if there is proof :o).

I'm not debating whether they perhaps thought cities, counties, or even state governments had a role in funding health care services for their local population. But in my reading of the Constitution, Bill of Rights, or other relevant founding documents I'm unaware of the founding fathers believing the Federal government has a duty or obligation to provide health care for it's citizens.

Posted by: dbw1 | July 21, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Wondering if any Democrats and "universal-care" cheerleaders on here will be honest enough to think down this trail:
1) Obama says this should not be political
2) Obama and the Dem's say (and I believe they are right) that one of the biggest drivers of cost is 'over-care' by doctors and hospitals (e.g., ordering more tests than necessary). I think at least one of the pro-Democrat pitchmen put the amount of spending due to 'over-care' at 30% of all costs.
3) the reason doctors and hospitals do this is fear of being sued for millions.

So here's a question for my Democrat friends: why do NONE of the Democrat bills parading as "reform" contain anything to reign in malpractice lawsuits?

When you discover the answer to that question, you will have to confront the greed that is as prevalant on your side of the aisle as you claim to find in "greedy insurance companies".

Posted by: dbw1 | July 21, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

" Of the Corporation, By the lobbyist & For politician’s greed"...this seems to have taken the place of "Of the people...". Greed, pure & simple, is driving the debate and the opposition to health care. ENOUGH!!! ENOUGH!!! ENOUGH!!! These Senators should be called on the carpet and disciplined for their conflict of interest.
We need a public option and we need it now. Don’t whine about not getting it done before your August vacation, I don’t think they need a vacation until their work is completed. I didn’t get a vacation this year, what makes them any better! STAY UNTIL THE WORK IS FINISHED and quit whining!!!!!

Posted by: kaetc81 | July 21, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Careful, mark_in_austin, if you post the same thing in two threads, someone will accuse you of being me. You remember when someone stole your user name? At least we don't have that happening anymore.

Posted by: JakeD | July 21, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

ProfElwood, you describe a laissez faire system.

Adam Smith envisioned a role for government in the market. He assumed that rules of "fairness" would have to be enforced and that some "unfairness" would be criminal. The market would work in most instances where the players were not criminals or monopolies.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
If one assumes a societal obligation to provide health care at some level [I do; and the Founding Fathers did], at that level, whatever it is, a for profit insurance market is a weakness, not a strength. That is because a seller of insurance will seek to limit his buyers to the young and the healthy. That exaggerates the cost of serving the lame and the halt. Our current system allows the private insurers to cherry pick their buyers while providing Medicare through the public coffers - and Medicare will cripple the nation if Medicaid does not do it first.

I have suggested solutions elsewhere, but here I am pointing out the absurdity of the insurance problem.
Looked at another way, by caring for the Medicare/Medicaid "pool" in the public domain and serving the indigent through the [incredibly expensive to local taxpayers] emergency rooms WE ARE HEAVILY SUBSIDIZING THE MEDICAL INSURANCE INDUSTRY.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | July 21, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse

How to cut healthcare costs? Easy - just check who is making the big profits. Then eliminate all the HBOs, insurance companies and all the other big business parasites in their shiny new office buildings who don't actually treat patients or provide medicines but who are making billions off of the health care of American citizens - or just tax them at 90% to pay for universal health care for all citizens.

Healthcare in the US is controlled by greedy un-regulated ("free market") big business profiteers like HBOs and insurance companies who are only interested in making lots of money for their bottom lines and paychecks and to hell with stupid US consumers.

The healthcare 'industry' is the only one still making billions in profits in this economy.

Posted by: warren631 | July 21, 2009 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Steele, don't give a hoot... when he can just kick back and just live off the old hog? give me a break...kinda funny huh.. how Steele after taking over the RNC even after attacks from Rush Limbaugh and others continue to just live off the old hog...

Posted by: opp88 | July 21, 2009 4:45 AM | Report abuse

"Free markets at work."
---------
Actually, government protection from abuse isn't supposed to be part of any type of market. Courts were created thousands of years ago in monarchist societies in order to be able to calmly and fairly deal with conflicts. We should be suspicious of anyone who is trying to stop or distort them.

In addition, there are several alternate plans from radically different perspectives (truly free market, nationalized, dual layer, and many more) that better address the cost, abuse, and coverage issues of our current system of health care, but they are politically impossible to pass because they would threaten the armies of lobbyists that currently control congress.

Posted by: ProfElwood | July 21, 2009 1:40 AM | Report abuse

Little known parts of the ERISA law (1975) are 514a and 502i which, by law, don't allow you to sue your insurance company on most group plans. After losing the argument with the insurance company, your only recourse is to get a federal judge (no jury trials) to intervene, and even then the company has to pay only for the insurance -- no incidental or legal fees. The LAW is preventing lawsuits against insurance companies.

==

My God that is astonishing. Talk about getting the fix in. No wonder they don't want universal healthcare, they have the whole system working in their favor.

Free markets at work.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 21, 2009 12:57 AM | Report abuse

Off-topic: the Frontiers Collection on Springer Verlag publishing is putting out one great QM book after another after another. Totally excellent one on decoherence I'm reading know.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 21, 2009 12:55 AM | Report abuse

chrisfox8:
Little known parts of the ERISA law (1975) are 514a and 502i which, by law, don't allow you to sue your insurance company on most group plans. After losing the argument with the insurance company, your only recourse is to get a federal judge (no jury trials) to intervene, and even then the company has to pay only for the insurance -- no incidental or legal fees. The LAW is preventing lawsuits against insurance companies.

As for your point on tort reform, you're right that most suits don't make it to court, which would explain why the states that have tort reform have failed to actually lower total court costs.

Posted by: ProfElwood | July 21, 2009 12:47 AM | Report abuse

Off topic: does anyone know which tomato ketchup Heinz is referring to as "NOT GROWN, MADE"? Even genetic engineering has to be "grown" eventually.

Posted by: JakeD | July 21, 2009 12:35 AM | Report abuse

There may be some frivolous malpractice suits, but there are plenty of real ones too.

Like the guy who went in for removal of an infected kidney, and had the wrong one removed.

Of the many who have abdominal pain after surgery because a pair of surgical scissors were sewed up inside. Or the people who get iatrogenic infections.

Or die of cancer because the doctor wasn't thorough in examination and overlooked symptoms he should have noted.

In a public system the cost of malpractice could be socialized. In a private system it's just another way for private insurance to rake in the cash.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 21, 2009 12:07 AM | Report abuse

Just wait until January 20, 2013

==

Yeah then Obama's presidency will be half over.

If you think the GOP can come up with anyone to beat him, you're not drinking the Kool-Aid, you've found a way to mainline it.

Sarah Palin, right?

Hahahaahahaha stupid troll

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 20, 2009 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Hey nodebris, I'll thank you to use mynahs for comparison. I'm the proud companion of nine of the colorful moochers and let me assure you that parrots are a lot brighter than any GOP troll.

I could play GOP talking points to my macaws and they could do a better job of recitation and invention than the goops on here.

One of my cockatoos can actually composes music. She understands scales. She can IMPROVISE. You won't see a GOP troll doing anything like that with words, not ever.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 20, 2009 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Oh my god, you're right chrisfox8. Lisa421 is jaked. The tone, the rhetoric, the verbal tics: spot on.

vbhoomes, really, pick it up a notch. You sound like a parrot trapped alone for months with a tv blaring fox news. Endlessly repeating stale gop memes won't convince anyone of anything anymore. You, and all the gop, need SOME NEW TALKING POINTS. Please, get some, and spare us the monotony of your daily catechism.

Posted by: nodebris | July 20, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

kenpasadena:

Just wait until January 20, 2013 ; )

Posted by: JakeD | July 20, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

RE: Tort reform

First off, to say that its a major part of premiums is ridiculous. It's not a non-zero number, but its nothing close to the 50% of the premium that won't even go towards paying a doctor's secretary, much less his insurance premiums.

The problem here is that when a doctor gets sued, his premiums go up whether he wins or loses. This is my major issue with the malpractice industry, not the amount of money made for a victory. Does this seem fair that a doctor gets penalized if he wins a case? Now, there is data showing a correlation between the arseholenish of a doctor and the number of times he gets sued, so obviously some doctors are more of a risk of getting slapped with a lawsuit than others and the insurance company should take this into account. But for a doctor to see his malpractice premiums skyrocket when he gets sued at a baseline rate is harmful in itself. What? You can't believe that insurance companies can be abusive to their clients?? Surprise! It's true. Real tort reform should start in this area, not at the patients.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 20, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

CC - Thanx for adding a 'primary" tab to the widget.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | July 20, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

I never thought we would be there that quickly with President Obama, but he's sinking faster than the Titanic.

==

Hard to figure out what the hell you're on about but it sounds like you're trying to create an impression that Obama's approval is tanking, when in fact it really hasn't changed since January.

But you hang on to that hope, maybe it'll help you get through the next EIGHT YEARS

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 20, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Its always fun to watch the Washington Post's annointed ones go down the tubes. I never thought we would be there that quickly with President Obama, but he's sinking faster than the Titanic.

Posted by: kenpasadena | July 20, 2009 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Back to your "regular" moniker now, "JakeD?"

Are "you" going to put on a big show of "agreeing" with "Lisa421?"

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 20, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

So Jake you're "hopeful" that America will go on having 50 million with only the ER for health care?

And that health care costs will continue to grow?

How exactly is that good for America?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 20, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully, Steele (and Kristol) are successful.

Posted by: JakeD | July 20, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Hey, K_o_z: your posts are way too stupid to be clever or funny. Give up.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 20, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

When I read the headline of this blog on the main page of "The Washington Post" website I assumed Chris was comparing Republican opposition to Social Security during the 1930's with their opposition to universal health care in 2009. Their rhetoric in opposing Social Security was very similar to their opposition to universal health care.

However, he was referring to Democrats' opposition to Bush II's plan to partly privatize Social Security several years ago. I do not think the two have anything in common. Bush and his conservative supporters were seeking to undermine Social Security. Obama and most Democrats, at least sort of, seek close to universal health care.

Protecing Social Security and expanding health care have in common, wanting to expand the federal government safety net to protect legal residents in this country from the insecurities of being retired, as well as potentially financially ruinous health care expenses.

Most conservatives have been opposed to nearly every positive reform in this country's history, including expanded suffrage, the end of slavery, civil rights legislation, the minimum wage, child labor laws, Social Security, Medicare. Hardly surprising they selfishly oppose universal health care, which is one of the basic rights in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, primarily written by Americans.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | July 20, 2009 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Could one of you really smart Libs design my menu and lifestyle for me? I am lost without the Messiah telling me exactly what to do. What happened to him paying all my bills? they are going up instead of down.

I know Libs are always very confused on math, like warming is cooling, saving is spending, job losses are job savings, taxes are investments, surrender is diplomacy, consequences is ignoring, etc.

but I am past due on my electric bill and Obama promised.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 20, 2009 8:11 PM | Report abuse

saw1 yes indeed.
So far this conversation only occurs at the margins of the cost centers. There are helmet laws, lots of health warning labels and you are guaranteed a perfect baby in this country or somebody has to pay. But no matter how fat you are, the cost of your misery in poor health is...socialized. Cigarettes and alcohol are taxed, but super-sized menu items are subsidized.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 20, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

If only I could toss the baseball like the Messiah. My kids T-ball team needs a pitcher to stand on the mound and read from the teleprompter.

I could meet the catcher (or is it the first baseman) halfway and throw it really hard at the dirt. Really hard like I'm gonna treat Korea for firing at my so-called bithplace.

someday I hope to bowl like his highness. Nevermind that a blind monkey could do better, at least he has saved all those jobs and kept unenployment under 8%.

Poor, poor Libs. sinking like a stone, passing no laws, ruining the country and mostly concerned with why don't people like me?

2 and out. Of course. same as always.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 20, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

At a government operated facility, we worry very little about defensive medicine and are indemnified by law (except for gross negligence/malfeasance).

Yet our costs for the psychiatric patients' medical care keep rising and rising. People are getting sicker. We have some very young people with multiple morbidities we used to not see until the 50s-60s (Tom Watson is an extraordinary exception to all age related axioms!).

Point is all medical care is going to continue to be more expensive until the population, somehow, decides to live healthy lives. The issues driving the need for health reform are not "savings" related, they are about efficiency and rationalizing the rationing process.
===========================================
There's the 900 pound Gorrilla, at what point do we accept and openly discuss the real issue. How do we allocate a limited resource? How much are we willing to spend, what are the the limits of care if any and what degree of responsibilty do we as individuals have for our own actions?

Posted by: saw1 | July 20, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

If 37th never came back it was probably because he's been expelled. I don't think Jake is expelled, but one can hope. More likely Jake will put on a show of having an exchange with Lisa421, which will only highlight the similarities in their sentences and style.

On the Most Important Number thread "lisa" announced "she" was leaving for the day. Who else announces departures? It's him.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 20, 2009 7:49 PM
__________
It's him. You won't see JakeD again. It'll be Lisa666 from now on.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | July 20, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

When it happens, health care/treatment is not too bad in this country.

There are many aspects of it and many outcomes that keep on improving.

The reform required is in the funding/access equations and this should not scare anybody.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 20, 2009 7:57 PM | Report abuse

At the time, Democrats derided the plan as a risky scheme to privatize the system, a move that would, they argued, jeopardize the entire Social Security program.

Chuck Schumer (N.Y.), who was the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee at the time, described the plan as a "risky privatization scheme"' while Tom Daschle (S.D.), a former Democratic leader in the Senate, called it a "risky, dangerous scheme".
__________
As drindl pointed out, there is no equivalency between the SS and heath insurance issues. The Dems were pointing out a factual reality not engaging in a scare tactic. It was not in dispute privatization of SS would wipe out oldsters in a down turn like the one we have now. The GOP argued that downturn would never come.

The GOP opposition to health care is all about preserving the profits of the health industry and leaving millions of Americans uninsured. No one who has ever been uninsured is singing the wingnut tune on this one.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | July 20, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

wow coxsucker, that is really stimulating and brilliant. did you learn that in a book somewhere? Can you cite your source?

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 20, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

There is only one poster who responds to drivl with anything other than mockery or derision, guess they both are getting desperate for attention.

Posted by: chrisuxcox - your soulmate goat girl


Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 20, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

If 37th never came back it was probably because he's been expelled. I don't think Jake is expelled, but one can hope. More likely Jake will put on a show of having an exchange with Lisa421, which will only highlight the similarities in their sentences and style.

On the Most Important Number thread "lisa" announced "she" was leaving for the day. Who else announces departures? It's him.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 20, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

It's the drivl and chrissuxcox blog. all the stupidity packed into a single nutshell. No job, so unlimited time available. No responsibilities, so infinite sanctimony. no intelligence, so witless reparte.

Get the picture?

Answer: No clue.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 20, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Same lefty loons posting day after day, the same mindless drivl.

Can't you fools see that liberalism is circling the bowl?

Can anyone find a single intelligent post from chrissuxcox, drivl, brainPoo?

Tall order.

Wanted: A Life. Respond to lonely loser @ chrissuxcox.com or drivl the mindless baboon C/o aslylum row.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 20, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

And, as it turns out, we all are feeling quite glad right now that we didn't sink our social security savings into the stock market.

===========================================
While people are happy with the benefits they receive not to many are happy with the state of the system.

I don't see either side willing to honestly address the problems of SSI or healthcare.

Services will have to be reduced and taxes will have to be raised. Some efficiency savings can be realized and some from elimination of fraud but I doubt the political will exist's to do what needs to be done.

I hope I am wrong.

Posted by: saw1 | July 20, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

This dangerous experiment has been performed successfully in most of the industrialized world -- and others have shortened the learning curve for us by doing it first.

Put on your safety goggles, everyone, and let's begin.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | July 20, 2009 7:30 PM
_________
Agreed. I think the US is the only industrialized country w/out universal health care coverage. The health industry lobbyists are the only reason we don't have universal coverage. I have heard of many GOPers who changed parties after losing their jobs and their health insurance--and having to face the real world of $800/month premiums and disqualifications for pre-existing conditions.
_____

@cf8, the test is to see whether JakeD resurfaces here. If he/she/it doesn't, Lisa666 is JakeD for sure. That's how 37thandO was exposed: he never came back under his old handle.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | July 20, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

If only.

There are only two posters who respond to Jake with anything other than mockery or derision, guess he's getting desperate for attention.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 20, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

At a government operated facility, we worry very little about defensive medicine and are indemnified by law (except for gross negligence/malfeasance).

Yet our costs for the psychiatric patients' medical care keep rising and rising. People are getting sicker. We have some very young people with multiple morbidities we used to not see until the 50s-60s (Tom Watson is an extraordinary exception to all age related axioms!).

Point is all medical care is going to continue to be more expensive until the population, somehow, decides to live healthy lives. The issues driving the need for health reform are not "savings" related, they are about efficiency and rationalizing the rationing process.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 20, 2009 7:34 PM | Report abuse

"And the posting the same post in multiple threads, just like JakeD and his pathetic wheedling for attention.

I'm pretty sure Lisa421 is JakeD. He's too stupid to mask his writing style. It's actually pretty hard to do.

Give it up, Jake, we know it's you.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 20, 2009 4:07 PM"
__________
This is shades of legendary troll "37thandO" who went through about five handle changes, "DorchesterandCongress" was one of them, before he received a final eviction notice.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | July 20, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

This dangerous experiment has been performed successfully in most of the industrialized world -- and others have shortened the learning curve for us by doing it first.

Put on your safety goggles, everyone, and let's begin.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | July 20, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

It's a New Dawn Arising...

HANG IN THERE PRESIDENT....the majority of people are resistant to change...especially the ones that are not effected either way by the issue's of our Nation and simply can't get over themselves.

GO PREZ GO....don't give into these NEGATIVE, WEAKNEED, SPINELESS GREEDY IDIOTS that have no compassion for the UNINSURED!

And for the difficulties you are having in Congress, ask if they would like to have all their BENEFITS taken away...awhile they waste precious time debating this important issue of concern....

Bottom line...it's hard to put Faith & Hope in something another hasn't seen...but if we only BELIEVE, change for a Better World may be seen.

TAKES GUTS FOLKS. If we do not try to make a Change then where will we be? What then will our nation look like? CHANGE OR LIVE IN A NATION that will remind you of an old movie entitled "SOY LENT GREEN".

So which path do you choose...the most difficult or the later? The easiest path most traveled, will result in a pathetic society of desperation for ALL MANKIND.............

Posted by: FromtheDeskofSusanJ | July 20, 2009 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Oh hell this whole side trail into medical malpractice is just another incarnation of GOP hysteria over "trial lawyers"

Pay no mind

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 20, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

"A good part of your premium BSIMON is the what the doctors have to charge to cover their liability expense, ie lawsuits. good place to start would be tort reform if you are serious about keeping costs down."

---

When I did some research into this, I found that for states that did enact tort reform laws (damage caps, etc.), medmal insurance rates didn't actually go down by any appreciable amount. It appears as if the difference was just pocketed by the insurance companies.

Do you have any information contrary to this? I'd love to take a look at it.

Posted by: VTDuffman |

===========================================
Medical malpractice ins. probably is a small portion of health care cost but there is a savings to be had. Probably the bigger savings is in reducing defensive medicine, if the fear of lawsuits is lessened Doctors will be less likely to do unnecessary testing just to protect themselves.
If something good for everyone is to come out of this all sides will have to sacrafice some sacred cows.

Posted by: saw1 | July 20, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

And, as it turns out, we all are feeling quite glad right now that we didn't sink our social security savings into the stock market.

==

To the extent that the stock market has become egalitarian it's mostly been the fleecing of the middle class by the rich. Investors have been howling for decades to get their hands on Social Security, and not so they could ensure our futures.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 20, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

The difference here is that people have been fundamentally happy with Social Security and unhappy with health care. Thus, people are much more receptive to tinkering with health care.

And, as it turns out, we all are feeling quite glad right now that we didn't sink our social security savings into the stock market.

Posted by: davestickler | July 20, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

THIS IS IT!

The healthcare reform bill released by the House Of Representatives is an excellent bill as I understand it. It's a bill with a strong, robust, government-run public option, and an intelligent, reasonable initial funding plan to cover almost all of the American people. It is carefully written, and thoughtfully constructed, informed, prudent and wise. This bill will save trillions of dollars, and millions of your lives. It is also now supported by the AMA.

This is the type of bill that all Americans can feel good about. And this is the type of bill that has the potential to dramatically improve the quality of healthcare for all Americans. Rich, middle class and poor a like. Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and all other party affiliations. This bill has the potential to dramatically improve the quality of life of every American.

The house healthcare bill should be viewed as the minimum GOLD STANDARD by which all other proposed healthcare legislation should be judged. All supporters of true high quality healthcare reform should now place all your support behind this healthcare reform bill released by the United States House Of Representatives, as the minimum Gold standard for healthcare reform in America.

You should all now support this bill with all your might, and all of your unrelenting tenacity. This healthcare bill is a VERY, VERY GOOD! bill for all of the American people. Fight tooth, and nail for every bit of this bill if you have too. Be aggressive, creative, and relentless for this bill.

From this time forward, go BIGGER and DEEPER with the American people every day until passage of healthcare reform with a robust, government-run public option.

FIGHT!! like your life and the lives of your loved ones depends on it. BECAUSE IT DOES!

SPREAD THE WORD

Senator Bernie Sanders on healthcare (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSM8t_cLZgk&feature=player_embedded)

God Bless You

Jack Smith — Working Class

Posted by: JackSmith1
===========================================

That's great, so exactly what are the specifics of the proposed health care system?

Is senator Sanders going to take the "public option " rather than the top flight health plan we presently provide him with?

I seriously doubt it.

Posted by: saw1 | July 20, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Even an idiot or a criminal can say something that is true...

==

You can bet on the idiot if you like

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 20, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

THIS IS IT!

The healthcare reform bill released by the House Of Representatives is an excellent bill as I understand it. It's a bill with a strong, robust, government-run public option, and an intelligent, reasonable initial funding plan to cover almost all of the American people. It is carefully written, and thoughtfully constructed, informed, prudent and wise. This bill will save trillions of dollars, and millions of your lives. It is also now supported by the AMA.

This is the type of bill that all Americans can feel good about. And this is the type of bill that has the potential to dramatically improve the quality of healthcare for all Americans. Rich, middle class and poor a like. Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and all other party affiliations. This bill has the potential to dramatically improve the quality of life of every American.

The house healthcare bill should be viewed as the minimum GOLD STANDARD by which all other proposed healthcare legislation should be judged. All supporters of true high quality healthcare reform should now place all your support behind this healthcare reform bill released by the United States House Of Representatives, as the minimum Gold standard for healthcare reform in America.

You should all now support this bill with all your might, and all of your unrelenting tenacity. This healthcare bill is a VERY, VERY GOOD! bill for all of the American people. Fight tooth, and nail for every bit of this bill if you have too. Be aggressive, creative, and relentless for this bill.

From this time forward, go BIGGER and DEEPER with the American people every day until passage of healthcare reform with a robust, government-run public option.

FIGHT!! like your life and the lives of your loved ones depends on it. BECAUSE IT DOES!

SPREAD THE WORD

Senator Bernie Sanders on healthcare (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSM8t_cLZgk&feature=player_embedded)

God Bless You

Jack Smith — Working Class

Posted by: JackSmith1 | July 20, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans and Democrats need to work on it and get a healthcare plan in place. Steele is just a distraction trying to score political points. There is a related post at http://iamsoannoyed.com/?page_id=588

Posted by: carlyt | July 20, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

The Bush S.S. privatization plan flopped with the American People because we comprehended it was a simple transfer or our money into the hands of a few, already, rich people. A heist.
This health care initiative is about actually helping people. Republicans and some Democrats are absolutely against that. Those who are against it are the same people who wanted to commit the "heist" in the first place. Wherever they can get their money, they will.
And, as they spread out their some 350 lobbyists (many former members of Congress and their staff people) to try and contain all the money involved in health care into the hands of a few, they sweat about only one thing: how can the people of the United States be made to pay a whole lot of money to US. ?

Posted by: cms1 | July 20, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

A Gingrich/Palin ticket? Tremendous! Now we can hope to laugh ourselves to death, before Mr. Obama assures that we all starve to death...YEE-HAW!

Posted by: wcmillionairre | July 20, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Even an idiot or a criminal can say something that is true...

Posted by: wcmillionairre | July 20, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

listen to me NOTHING will ever be done for health care reform unless the medical lobbyist tell congress what and when to vote.see how much money your congressmen and senators get from the medical lobbyist,you will be surprised.

Posted by: SISSD1 | July 20, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

If you enter "Jake D" and "registered independent" in Google you can see that he's been doing the exact same crap for years, same unvarying sentences, in newspaper blogs all over the country. Trolling is his life, if you can call it that.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 20, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

There is no way to check the Post's Web site for postings to chat areas such as this.

Yes, Lisa421 is JakeD in drag.

Posted by: thinman1 | July 20, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

What is there to discuss? SS privatization would have made billions for the finance industry and then once the Rs broke the economy, SS recipients wouldn't have had anything to live on.

End of discussion.

Posted by: drindl | July 20, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

To Martha, "You can fool some of the people, all of the time." Unfortunately, you are simply the fool.

Posted by: Lisa421 | July 20, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

To AverageJane, thank you for bringing up Bush's Social Security privatization plan. Would you mind if I ask you a question about that?

==

"If anyone would like to discuss Bush's Social Security privatization plan, let me know."

You can change a few words but the same compulsivity shines through. You aren't fooling anyone, Jake.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 20, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Not to nitpick, but in the article, you reference Daschle as the leader in the Senate in 2005, but he was no longer in the Senate at that time.

Posted by: ryanmsears | July 20, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

To AverageJane, thank you for bringing up Bush's Social Security privatization plan. Would you mind if I ask you a question about that?

Posted by: Lisa421 | July 20, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

OT-- but I had to post this. Gingrich has wandered off the reservation, deep into Scrivener Territory. God, I hope they nominate him. Him and Palin. Just think of the comic possibilities. A reality sitcom!

Electro-magnetic pulse attack alert!

For the past few months, Newt Gingrich has been trying to sound the alarm that the United States is on the cusp of a monumental security threat far greater than the dangers posed by Germany and Japan in the 1930s and 40s — an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack. Gripped by this fear, Gingrich once argued that the U.S. should take out North Korean missiles, while on their launch pads, with lasers because he believes the reclusive communist state has the ability to carry out such an attack on the U.S.

This morning, during a speech at the Heritage Foundation, Gingrich was at it again. He lamented how the world’s democracies “hid from reality” in the 1920s and 30s and failed to confront the emerging threat in Europe and East Asia. Citing what he had read in “novels,” he then linked that to his perceived EMP threat and deplored the “failure to translate the ability of the imagination into public policy.” “We are living at the edge of a catastrophe,” he said:

GINGRICH: [W]hat we are faced with is not simply a problem, it is potentially catastrophic. … [The] electro-magnetic pulse, from my co-author and good friend Bill Forstchen, has written a remarkable novel called One Second After, in which he takes a town in North Carolina and shows you what would happen with a successful electro-magnetic pulse attack. Electro-magnetic pulse is essentially a peculiarly-sized nuclear device that becomes a giant lightning strike. [...]

[E]xperts in nuclear weaponry, and they came back and said unanimously, “This is a catastrophic threat waiting to happen and North Korea, China and Russia all understand it and are all working on it.” Which is why I adopted the position towards North Korea that I would literally not allow them to fire any intercontinental range missile that we had not inspected. I would just take it out on the site.

And the reason is simple; one weapon of this kind that went off over Omaha would eliminate most of the electrical production in the United States. And we are not today hardened against this. It is an enormous catastrophic threat.

Posted by: drindl | July 20, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

To drindl, I just checked the entire Washington Post web site, and JakeD never said "Do you have anything else?" I did find "Next canard?" however.

Posted by: Lisa421 | July 20, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

The Stock Market implosion proved the Republicans were dead wrong on SS privatization, that should allow them no credibility on healthcare reform.

Posted by: AverageJane | July 20, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

What do I need' to be careful of'?

That's another thing jaked says.

Posted by: drindl | July 20, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

And snidely repeating back others' words is something Jake does a lot, just like the sneer quote you employ.

You're way too stupid to disguise your writing, Jake, give it up.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 20, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

To drindl, then you had better be very careful because chrisfox8 said it first to me "Got anything else?"

Posted by: Lisa421 | July 20, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

And the posting the same post in multiple threads, just like JakeD and his pathetic wheedling for attention.

I'm pretty sure Lisa421 is JakeD. He's too stupid to mask his writing style. It's actually pretty hard to do.

Give it up, Jake, we know it's you.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 20, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I've noticed that, chrisfox. After they get completely discredited, they change their minds. There's always at least one troll on this board -- they seem to take it in shifts.

Posted by: drindl | July 20, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

"Do you have anything else?'

How very odd that you say you aren't jaked, lisa, yet you use an expression that he uses constantly, a rude formulation that is not that common. How would you explain that?

Posted by: drindl | July 20, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

They all sound alike for a reason, chrisfox. Hive mind.

==

I think Lisa is just another JakeD moniker. Same pointless questions aimed at the poster, not the poster's idea. Some opening reference to the poster, with a comma instead of a colon. Same sense that the writer has a really bad headache. Same thick wit.

I've never posted anywhere that the GOP trolls didn't do multiple monikers. Since Jake is a figure of fun nobody takes seriously, he needs to start over with another. They always do that.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 20, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

To drindl, at least it is some "proof" of my claim. Do you also believe that John Marshall of Talking Points Memo is a rightwinger?

"On the question of the quality of Rasmussen polls in general, I've been watching them closely now through at least two cycles. The toplines tend to be a bit toward the Republican side of the spectrum, compared to the average of other polls. But if you factor that in they're pretty reliable. And the frequency that Rasmussen is able to turn them around -- because they're based on robocalls -- gives them added value in terms of teasing out trends."

Posted by: Lisa421 | July 20, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

They all sound alike for a reason, chrisfox. Hive mind.

Posted by: drindl | July 20, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

vbhoomes, is that the game now? I ask for data and your rebuttal is a childish attack? I'm not arguing that tort reform is unnecessary, I am arguing that tort reform is not the biggest problem that has to be solved.

I might be incorrect, but it is you who made the claim that "[a] good part of your premium BSIMON is the what the doctors have to charge to cover their liability expense." Do you have backing data, or are you making that up? I'm willing to be convinced that I'm wrong. Can you do that or not?

.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 20, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Rassmussen is completely owned by R's. Their polls NEVER correlate with anyone else's numbers.

Posted by: drindl | July 20, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

I am not JakeD

==

It's really hard to tell

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 20, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Notice how the rightwingers never have any proof of their claims? They just beleive eveything Rush tells 'em.

If the obese drug/sex addict says it, it must be true.

Posted by: drindl | July 20, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Interesting to you, maybe, not to anyone else. Rasmussen is an GOP enabler.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 20, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

To chrisfox8, I am not JakeD. Do you have anything else?

Posted by: Lisa421 | July 20, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Lisa421 | July 20, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm simply asking VTDuffman (I don't even know if he voted for Obama) whether he thinks that Obama's $2 trillion injection into Wall Street was bad or not.

==

It's just another JakeD threadjack.

You don't like Obama. We get it. Got anything else?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 20, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Lisa421 asks
"you think a $2 trillion injection into Wall Street would have been bad if Bush did it, but not when Obama does it?"

I didn't like the steps taken under Bush/Paulsen/Bernanke and I didn't like the steps taken under Obama/Geithner/Bernanke. But that doesn't mean they weren't necessary. In both cases, the steps taken, as best as we can tell, were better than doing nothing and (presumably) watching the system crash around us. Viewed as an insurance premium, a small price to pay.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 20, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Come on BSIMON, I can only believe Mondays are not your best days, you think doctors or insurance companys eat the cost? I guess when you are a partisan democrat, your willing to believe anything Obama tells you but the trial lawyers are a sugardaddy for Obama and the dems, that's why they are off limits, public be damned.

Posted by: vbhoomes | July 20, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

'he thinks that Obama's $2 trillion injection into Wall Street was bad or not."

Simple -- good.

Complex - - bad.

Posted by: drindl | July 20, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm simply asking VTDuffman (I don't even know if he voted for Obama) whether he thinks that Obama's $2 trillion injection into Wall Street was bad or not.

Posted by: Lisa421 | July 20, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

didn't think so

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 20, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

The cost of America's ill health is already socialized and good quality care is already rationed. The "free market" experiment of letting more than 1000 companies figure out how to make a profit on health care "management" is what has failed.

But with 22% caring what they think, at the national level Republicans are irrelevant, though none so entirely as Michael Steele.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 20, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

To VTDuffman, you think a $2 trillion injection into Wall Street would have been bad if Bush did it, but not when Obama does it?

==

I'm curious. Have you read anywhere that we Obama supporters are praising the money handed to Wall Street? Or are you just asking a stupid argumentative question in hope or working up another thick-witted headache of a troll?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 20, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

vbhoomes writes
"A good part of your premium BSIMON is the what the doctors have to charge to cover their liability expense, ie lawsuits."


That sounds like an easily provable statement. Can you reference a source for your assertion that malpractice insurance premiums are rising at a rate that causes health insurance premiums to rise 10 to 30% per year?

My guess is you're pulling it out of your backside, but am open to the possibility that you can back your statement with data.

.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 20, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

To VTDuffman, you think a $2 trillion injection into Wall Street would have been bad if Bush did it, but not when Obama does it?

Posted by: Lisa421 | July 20, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

"A good part of your premium BSIMON is the what the doctors have to charge to cover their liability expense, ie lawsuits. good place to start would be tort reform if you are serious about keeping costs down."

---

When I did some research into this, I found that for states that did enact tort reform laws (damage caps, etc.), medmal insurance rates didn't actually go down by any appreciable amount. It appears as if the difference was just pocketed by the insurance companies.

Do you have any information contrary to this? I'd love to take a look at it.

Posted by: VTDuffman | July 20, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

A good part of your premium BSIMON is the what the doctors have to charge to cover their liability expense, ie lawsuits. good place to start would be tort reform if you are serious about keeping costs down. Oh, that's right, you and Obama aren't serious

==

How would reining in medical malpractice lawsuits extend coverage to the 50 million without it?

This is a dodge.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 20, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

And indeed, as several commentators noted, what would have happened if 'W' had been successful in his privatisation of Social Security (followed by the collapse of the Stock Market)? Just more 30-year-old Reagan-esque dogma!

==

There'd be a lot of Republicans raising toasts and clinking glasses, delirious with joy

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 20, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

A good part of your premium BSIMON is the what the doctors have to charge to cover their liability expense, ie lawsuits. good place to start would be tort reform if you are serious about keeping costs down. Oh, that's right, you and Obama aren't serious, you thought it was good politics until the blue dogs called your bluff. Hello Speaker Boehner.

Posted by: vbhoomes | July 20, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Fifty years ago Charlie Wilson said "what's good for GM is good for America.

Michael Steel at this time says "what is good for the insurers and the rest of the health care infrastructure is good for America."

"If you do not have health care, ir's because you are not a hard worker. What is the hurry about health care, the industry is not in trouble? They had their bailout with Medicare Part D. The only one's complaining are the whiners."

My response "The system is broken and you broke it. You were incompetent and corrupt right from the beginning. Why will things be different now?"

Posted by: Gator-ron | July 20, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Don't pick on CC, commentators! He's actually doing what good journalists are expected to do--report facts, not opinions (that's what the comments section is for).

As for Michael Steele: How misguided and disingenuous can one be? I grant Mr. Steele is just doing his job, but he also seems to actually be drinking the Republican 'Cool-Aid'!

And if everyone is so achingly fearful of THIS 'dangerous experiment', why not look to all the countries which have already counducted the 'experiment' with a relative degree of success? Are the UK, France, ALL of the other EU members plus Switzerland, all of Scandinavia, Canada, and Japan merely skirting the edge of the dangerous precipice?

No system is perfect, but the horror stories spread by the Right are just flim-flam stories meant to do what they do best--frighten the uninformed!

And indeed, as several commentators noted, what would have happened if 'W' had been successful in his privatisation of Social Security (followed by the collapse of the Stock Market)? Just more 30-year-old Reagan-esque dogma!

Posted by: sverigegrabb | July 20, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Which fear is stronger?

Is fear of changing healthcare delivery stronger or weaker than the fear of NOT changing the system?

Its quite possible the GOP is tone deaf, again. As the unemployment rate rises, the number of people who lose their healthcare, or are faced with exhorbitant COBRA rates rises. People who still have jobs are also taking a hit - I have an employer that is generous with benefits, but my costs still went up this year. A friend recently mentioned that her premiums went up 28% this year. Is the GOP smart to tie themselves to the 'change is bad' side of the argument when the existing system sucks so badly?

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 20, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

THIS IS IT!

The healthcare reform bill released by the House Of Representatives is an excellent bill as I understand it. It's a bill with a strong, robust, government-run public option, and an intelligent, reasonable initial funding plan to cover almost all of the American people. It is carefully written, and thoughtfully constructed, informed, prudent and wise. This bill will save trillions of dollars, and millions of your lives. It is also now supported by the AMA.

This is the type of bill that all Americans can feel good about. And this is the type of bill that has the potential to dramatically improve the quality of healthcare for all Americans. Rich, middle class and poor a like. Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and all other party affiliations. This bill has the potential to dramatically improve the quality of life of every American.

The house healthcare bill should be viewed as the minimum GOLD STANDARD by which all other proposed healthcare legislation should be judged. All supporters of true high quality healthcare reform should now place all your support behind this healthcare reform bill released by the United States House Of Representatives, as the minimum Gold standard for healthcare reform in America.

You should all now support this bill with all your might, and all of your unrelenting tenacity. This healthcare bill is a VERY, VERY GOOD! bill for all of the American people. Fight tooth, and nail for every bit of this bill if you have too. Be aggressive, creative, and relentless for this bill.

From this time forward, go BIGGER and DEEPER with the American people every day until passage of healthcare reform with a robust, government-run public option.

FIGHT!! like your life and the lives of your loved ones depends on it. BECAUSE IT DOES!

SPREAD THE WORD

Senator Bernie Sanders on healthcare (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSM8t_cLZgk&feature=player_embedded)

God Bless You

Jack Smith — Working Class

Posted by: JackSmith1 | July 20, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone listen to Republicans, aside from other Republicans?

This is the Michael Steele whose answer to minorities bolting the Republican Party is to call out "y'all come" and offer fried chicken and potato salad.

The same Michael Steele who groveled to Rush Limbaugh after suggesting that the Fat One was divisive.

He's a nonentity. If he doesn't know he's a token, he's the only one who doesn't know it.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 20, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

"President Obama today reaffirmed his commitment to reforming health care to control costs, provide affordable coverage, and ensure quality care by introducing competition and transparency into the current system. In his speech, Obama also took aim at comments made by one of the most ardent opponents of health reform, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC). DeMint last week declared that he would do everything in his power to kill health reform in the Senate. Obama struck back today by saying the debate “isn’t about me,” but rather a system that is “breaking American families”:

OBAMA: Just the other day, one Republican Senator said, and I’m quoting him now, “if we’re able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him.” Think about that. This isn’t about me. This isn’t about politics. It is about a health care system that is breaking American families, breaking America’s businesses and breaking America’s economy."

Obama tries to fix heatlhcare. Repubicans play politics.

Posted by: drindl | July 20, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

We would have been much worse off now if without the stimulus. Obama needed to stop the economy from sliding downhill, which he did.

Do you read anything besides propaganda?

Posted by: drindl | July 20, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

If Obama and the dems wanted Healthcare, then that should had been 1st on their agenda not the stimulas bill. When the history is written on this failed effort, it will come back to the stimulas bill because they blew a trillon dollars and didn't do what Obama promised us it would do. Now he says, don't believe the nonpartisan CBO numbers, believe my numbers, yeah, like 8% unemployment. You got it wrong the 1st time, why do you deserve a 2nd chance?

Posted by: vbhoomes | July 20, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately Michael Steele has no idea what he's talking about:
http://www.gotchamediablog.com/2009/07/michael-steeles-health-care-wisdom.html

Posted by: mjwilstein | July 20, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

VT -- a lot of old people eating cat food.

Posted by: drindl | July 20, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Oh, puleez.

Steele is not 'borrowing a page from Democrats;. He is parroting Alex Castellanos, the evil R operative who has been words in republican's mouths for about 20 years now.

You know this, Mr. Cilizza.

In any case, it's a fundamentally different story. The Democrats were merely pointing at the potential for disaster in privatizing Social Security -- that people who are receiving it now, for instance, would have had their retirement entirely wiped out in this latest financial disaster. Who was behind the push for privatization? Why, the financial industry!

Republicans, on the other hand, are using their usual fearmongering and propaganda to try to scare people away from a fair and decent health care system, at the behest of their insurance industry benefactors.

Let's just try a little honesty, huh?

Posted by: drindl | July 20, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

To Daschle's credit, and this is something I think about from time to time - can you imagine if Bush was actually successful with his SS Privatization campaign, considering what happened to the economy?

Posted by: VTDuffman | July 20, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

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